The re-registration exercise for more than 56,000 people whose names were deleted from the voters register for registering with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards officially came to an end yesterday.
The exercise, which started on Monday, July 18, was characterised by low patronage.
Checks by The Ghanaian Times at some district electoral offices at Adentan and Madina in Accra revealed that 50 voters out of 169 had re-registered at Adentan as at 1 p.m. while several others were in a queue to beat the deadline.
At Madina in the La-Nkwantang-Madina Municipality 45 out of 180 had re-registered, with 112 out of 508 taking part in the exercise in the Dome Kwabenya Constituency in Ga East as at 2 p.m.
From Cape Coast, Jonathan Donkor reports that only a little above 5,000 out of 14, 789 National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card holders in the Central Region, whose names were deleted from the electoral roll, had re-registered as of Wednesday, the penultimate day of the nationwide re-registration exercise
The Regional Director of the commission, Mrs. Philomena Edusei, who disclosed this to The Ghanaian Times in an interview on Thursday, the last day of the exercise, was however optimistic that the gap could be closed at the end of the day.
It is recalled that the Supreme Court, in its ruling on July 5, 2016, directed the EC to delete the names of all NHIS registrants and to provide such persons the opportunity to re-register after the commission was sued over the use of the NHIS card for voter registration.
Accordingly, the EC deleted the names of 56,722 persons who registered with NHIS cards from the electoral roll and gave them the opportunity to register again from Monday July 18 to Thursday July 28, 2016.
Giving statistics on the deletion of NHIS registrants in the region, Mrs. Edusei said the Efutu Municipality with the highest of 5,267 deletions out 4, 7048 voters had re-registered more than 2,000 voters.
The Hemang Lower Denkyira District which recorded the lowest deletion of seven out of 33,312 voters had re-registered five persons while Cape Coast Metropolis, the regional capital recorded 1,046 deletions out of 105,065, had re-registered more than 300 people.
On the ongoing voter register exhibition exercise aimed at enabling registered voters to verify their information and to make corrections where necessary, she could not readily give the number of persons who have checked their names but said the exercise was gradually picking up.
She called on registered voters who have not checked their names to do so before the exercise ends on Sunday, August 7. Out of 2,480 exhibition centres in the region, 183 are in Cape Coast.
When the Ghanaian Times visited Cape Coast Metropolitan Office of the EC as of 1:30pm the EC officer, Mr. Richard Asenso disclosed that only about 20 persons had registered, contrary to the expectation that many people would troop in on the last day of the exercise.
The Western Regional Directorate of the Electoral Commission (EC), reports that the response for voters who registered with NHIS cards to re-register, has been very sluggish and not encouraging reports Clement Adzei Boye.
It said since the beginning of the exercise about two weeks ago, it was only this week that showed some signs of enthusiasm, even though slow.
As at Wednesday, 944 out of 2,314 who used NHIS cards, had re-registered with the EC offices.
Giving the update in an interview with The Ghanaian Times, the Regional Director of EC, Mr. Stephen Opoku-Mensah, said earlier response had not been encouraging explaining that prospective voters came rushing in on Wednesday and Thursday improving the trend.
“As at close of work on Wednesday, we were left with 1,370 voters to register and we hope as we close yesterday we would get more registering. In the Jomoro District, for example, we had seven names deleted and only one person had come to our office for the exercise.”
On the exhibition exercise, Mr. Opoku-Mensah told The Ghanaian Times 37,843 out of 1,590,232 voters had checked and confirmed their names, describing the trend as encouraging.
He said the reports represented about 24 per cent of the total voters in the region and hoped the figure would be double before the end of the exercise.
“We should not wait for August 7 to come; we should not wait for the 11th hour; there’s nothing like that. Clearly, this is the first time the commission had declared 21 days of exhibition,” the director said.
The Biometric Verification Devices, he reported were working effectively.
Meanwhile, the EC was scheduled to brief the media today on matters arising from the re-registration exercise for the deleted NHIS card registrants.
By Lawrence Vomafa-Akpalu